Monday Night NFL Betting: BALTIMORE RAVENS at CLEVELAND BROWNS (11/30)

PRO FOOTBALL — November 30

BALTIMORE at CLEVELAND
(America’s Bookie Line: Browns -5.5, Total 41.5) — The Browns have made the decision NOT to make Johnny Manziel the starter for the rest of the season; for this game, on the surface, that might bode well for them, as McCown did, after all, throw for 457 yards against the Ravens earlier in the season. But something has happened to this team since then; some of the “fight” has been knocked out of them. They have lost five straight, and over the last four, the closest they have gotten is fourteen points. Meanwhile, Baltimore, a perennial playoff participant, could have folded the tent and gone home after their 1-6 start. But at least they have kept battling, and if not for a blown call by the officials (which the NFL admitted to), they would be on a three-game winning streak right now.

Yes, Joe Flacco (14 TD’s 12 INT’s) is out for the duration with a knee injury. But that gives veteran (and former Pro Bowl MVP) Matt Schaub a chance to resurrect himself in the sub’s role, and perhaps he makes the most of it. True, he doesn’t have a full collection of receivers, but he has talented tight ends, and Cleveland is again missing top cover corner Joe Haden (concussion). And don’t be surprised if rookie Buck Allen doesn’t do himself proud filling in for Justin Forsett (641 rush yards), who broke his forearm last week. Cleveland can’t run (3.3 ypc) and can’t defend the run (4.6 ypc allowed), and that is not a formula for victory for a 2-8 team laying more than a field goal. This prideful Raven crew will do better in slowing down McCown and curtailing the Browns’ one-dimensional offense.

PLAY BY JAY: BALTIMORE +4 **

(All information is for news matter only; All games are graded on a scale of 1-4 stars. Lines are subject to change)